I am going to share with you today a super easy recipe for a three-ingredient weeknight pasta dish. I came up with this recipe for zucchini, fresh herb and garlic pasta, out of necessity, when I needed to make a quick dinner in under twenty minutes. After long, 10-hour days at the cooking school all week, I really didn’t feel like spending too much time cooking at home.
When pressed for time, pasta is always the first thing that comes to mind. I boiled a big pot of water while surveying my vegetable drawer. I spotted a zucchini and I knew I had fresh herbs in the garden. So, I chopped the zucchini in small dice so it cooks fast and started sautéing it in plenty of olive oil. I added some garlic, fresh parsley, and red pepper flakes and, in the time it took for the pasta to cook, my simple sauce was ready.
This is really a “no-recipe” recipe. I liked the simplicity of these few ingredients and how fast it all came together. I knew instantly that I had to share it on the blog along with a photo. What are your favorite pasta dishes for quick weeknight meals? This may become one of them. Please leave a comment below, as I would love to know!
Cast of characters: zucchini, fresh parsley, garlic and red pepper flakes
- 1 large zucchini, diced
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (plus more as needed)
- 5 med. cloves of garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp. pepper flakes
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- 1 cup finely chopped parsley (or a combination of herbs)
- ¾ lb. spaghetti
- ½-1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler (plus more for serving)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add one tablespoon of salt (to season the water) and then add the spaghetti.
- While the water boils, mince the zucchini, the garlic, and the parsley. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and then add the zucchini. Sauté the zucchini, stirring frequently for 4-5 minutes or until it starts to get some color. Add the garlic, the pepper flakes and the salt. Cook for two more minutes. Next, add the parsley and cook for a few minutes more.
- When the pasta is cooked al dente, reserve ½ cup of the cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta.
- Check the consistency of the pasta sauce; if it is too dry, stir in a few more tablespoons of olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add half of the reserved cooking water to loosen up the sauce. Return the pasta to the skillet. Mix well and add the rest of the cooking water if needed. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
- Serve at once, with a drizzle of your best olive oil and some extra Parmesan cheese.
Other quick pasta recipes from the blog:
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